Emma Besselaar is currently a postgraduate student at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, studying with Louise Hopkins. Previously, she studied with Quirine Viersen at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam, graduating in June 2014 with 'very good results'. During her studies, she followed regular lessons with Dmitri Ferschtman and studied baroque cello with Viola de Hoog. Before starting her Bachelor degree, Emma attended the Young Talent Class at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam, where she studied with Maarten Mostert.
Emma attended masterclasses including with Raphael Wallfisch, Adrian Brendel, Anner Bylsma and attended the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove in April 2015, following masterclasses with Ralph Kirschbaum. She is a laureate of various competitions in the Netherlands and an active chamber musician - recently her piano trio was awarded the first prize in the St. James Chamber Competition and in July 2016 she performed Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time at the Torroella Festival (Spain) with another of her chamber groups, the Idiomelo Ensemble. In May 2017 she will perform chamber works by Mahler and Webern in the Barbican Hall, London. As an orchestra musician, Emma has been a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra, the Britten-Pears Orchestra (at Aldeburgh Festival) and the Dutch Youth String Orchestra, where she was the principal cellist.
Emma plays on a cello (Francesco Toto, Cremona, 2007) given on loan by the Dutch National Instrument Foundation. Her study in London is made possible by a scholarship from the Dutch Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.